What does the IE "progress bar" measure?

You know the one I’m talking about. The little bar at the bottom of the browser that goes from left to right as a new web page loads. The one that whizzes by on most sites, but takes forever on the SDMB:(

What is this bar a measure of? Is it counting bytes of content received from the server? Does it know how many bytes to expect so it can calculate a percentage? In short, what is this bar telling me in quantifiable terms?


Well, in Netscape, the progress bar gives an indication of how much of the page has loaded. I think it measures only HTML code and not images, as the bar normally reaches the top long before all the images are finished loading.

In IE, it’s just something pretty to look at. :rolleyes:

In older versions of IE it actually reflected the amount of the web page that had loaded. The problem was that it would sit there for a long time doing absolutely nothing while loading pages like the straight dope. Somewhere around IE 5 microsoft changed it so that the progress indicator actually moves even though pretty much nothing is happening, apparently just so you got some sort of feeling that something was happening and it wasn’t broken.

From what I’ve been able to figure out, at first it’s just measuring time until the web page starts to load, after that it seems to be a progress indicator of how much of the page has loaded.

Every nudge of the progress bar Microsoft sends a penny to the Make A Wish foundation. If you hit cancel Bill Gates personally kicks a puppy.

I believe (though it sounds like an Urban Legend) that the stupid “progress” bar measures nothing – it is, at best, merely an “activity” indicator.

I have no idea what it measures but I am running IE6 and I can tell you that it measures something because if the page is not downloading it does not move and if it moves all the way to the right the page has downloaded.

It’s supposed to measure how much of the page is loaded. I think it actually tracks Bill Gates next billion.

When my internet connection is down the progress bar will slowly move to ~25% before I get the ‘page cannot be displayed’ message :mad:, so I don’t think it really measures much. I am using IE 6.